IRAPUATO, MEXICO — Ikegami Mold de México, a subsidiary of Japan's Ikegami Mold Engineering Co. Ltd., is investing $1 million in its third tool shop in Mexico.
The new plant in Irapuato, 200 miles northwest of Mexico City, will primarily serve the automotive industry.
“It's in the Bajio region, where the automotive industry is very hot now,” Josh Koga, the Mexican company's managing director, said in a recent interview.
The new operation will start in late October. It has 16,146 square feet of floor space, double that of Ikegami's Monterrey shop, which opened in 2010. It also has a crane able to support 30-ton loads, a machining center, electrical discharge machining and laser welding, among other services.
“In addition, we will have a texture capability under the roof, thanks to an affiliation with Tanazawa Hakkosha Co. Ltd., which is one of the largest texture suppliers in Japan,” Koga said. Ikegami opened its first shop in Mexico, in Tijuana, in 1998.
The new plant will have four workers who transferred from Monterrey, Mexico, and two locally hired clerical workers. Koga plans to hire five additional mold specialists in early 2014.
Asked how difficult it had been to find qualified staff for the new facility, Koga replied: “Extremely difficult, if not impossible. We transferred staff from Monterrey.”